Concerns Christians will miss out on East Africa food aid

There are concerns that Christians will struggle to receive food aid in the parts of the Horn of Africa where they are a minority.

Christian charity Barnabas Fund has started directing its emergency supplies to Christians in Kenya and Ethiopia after Christian leaders reported their concerns about unfair distributions.

The region is struggling under the burden of its worst drought in 60 years, with more than 10 million people in need of aid.

Development agencies worldwide have launched appeals and are sending emergency aid to the region, but there are fears of a repeat of the discrimination seen in the Pakistan flooding of last summer when Christian victims were overlooked in aid distributions.

One Christian leader in north-east Kenya told Barnabas Fund that the Christian minority in their area was “falling out” of the existing aid programmes.

In response, Barnabas Fund is focusing its aid distribution on Christian communities in north-east Kenya and Ethiopia.

Food prices in some parts of Ethiopia have shot up by between 60 and 100 per cent since March.

Barnabas Fund partners in south Ethiopia blame prolonged poverty and soaring food prices for the present crisis.

They said that Christian families were unable to afford to buy food from the market and that children were being affected most severely by the shortages.

Barnabas Fund’s aid shipment to the Horn of Africa includes supplies of wheat flour to feed Christian families in Ethiopia.

One Kenyan Christian leader told the charity: “We are so moved by your concern for us … It has been getting worse by day … the pressure people living here are facing is increasingly growing out of hand.”